Thursday, April 26, 2018

ASIFA Central/Midwest US Chapter Meeting Notes for April 25, 2018

Disjointed notes to the casual observer.
But these notes are for my quick reference for the next ASIFA Central Meeting...
this was a nice 2 hours I was able to contribute to...

ASIFA Board Agenda and notes, April 25, 2018 8pm on a phone near you
  • An amazing evening, a light breeze, a joy about us all, and it’s only the 25th.  
  • The office curtains wave at the setting sun…. Lucretius begs us consider the Epicurean life,
  • and the dog
  • begs for attention at the office doors … sweet spring …
Present: Julie, Brad, Chuck, Jim, Gretchen, Steve, Chris (enjoying the congestion), and Deanna
in the
car with her family, and Gary is in limbo, suffering from technical problems beyond his control

  1. Updates on sub party meetings
  2. Next Meeting - socks optional - coherence optional - May 30, 8pm,
  3. conference call , 2 weeks after the retreat conference call on 14 May at 8pm

2. Updates

  1. Members Survey Conversation - Chris and Jim have been chatting about this -
  2. working up the logistics - how do these notions sound for starters?
  3. Who is our focus - students, industry, those within the group or outside the community
  4. (students tend to have a lot of their own community - it’s good to sow those seeds early,
  5. as networking occurs on many levels, something students will discover later) - students
  6. at Webster have a community that could be tapped - how do we open the doors to them
  7. when they leave to join the industry.
Survey Monkey may be an option - Chris has been taking a look at it,
and it is a possibility for the survey process.  
Give students the understanding that connections with ASIFA can be a good draw
for networking - the students can join, but they’re not our primary target (Deanna)
The purpose of the survey is to meet the needs of our population, so perhaps using
the technologies and professionals involved on how they work with the workflow to work-around the shortcomings of the basic softwares and how the basics can be ramped up to an actual production process.  What are the work techniques?
From a questionnaire standpoint, the format of animation could be the starting point -
analog, tech, experimental…
Chris wants to become more connected in the midwest - it would be a great thing
to have a map of everyone - get a feel of location within the community -
the retreats are great to encourage this sort of thing.
Brad: get together a rough draft of the survey and send as an email to everyone
for review.  End of semester mayhem and madness!!!!! Jim and Chris can send notes back and forth over the next couple of weeks.
    1. Chris Sagovac, Jim Middleton - some notes on this subject from Jim and Chris:
    2. For example on FB polls:
      What do you find more valuable?
        Current news in animation
        Ability to network
        Critical feedback on your work
  Screening current animation
    1. How far are you willing to travel for a conference/meeting/festival/retreat?
      10 miles
      100 miles
      1000 miles
    2. How do you animate primarily?
      What is your Process?
Tips and Techniques

    1. We could also directly survey the members through their email or link it to the facebook
    2. page for some more open ended answers.

What are your expectations joining ASIFA Central?
-text box answer-

Do you have any particular passion in animation you'd like to share
as a presentation?
-text box answer-

Personally, facilitating networking, collaboration, and connections is
paramount. So the questions about music, artist groups, and animation festivals. We  can do a basic monthly poll on facebook, and a more in depth survey to the members via email and link the survey to fb for prospective members to learn more about them?
  1. Julie: Website development and amazement!!!!!!!
  • The website is our little storefront
  • Independent and commercial work presence - an opportunity for other regions
  • to peek in at ASIFA Central
  • Formatting, information, color experimentation and design tests
  • Wordpress is fluid with transferring its styles, but content has criteria for
  • proper formatting
  • Who are we?  What and who do we represent?
  • Comments on front page of website and the template:
It might be worthwhile to define our borders, explain our region?  If someone is checking in,
a map to show where our chapter exists?  Expand our presence to be a “midwest” chapter -
Deanna: the international groups were being confused as a “central/secretariat” to ASIFA
International, rather than “ASIFA Central - the Midwest US Chapter” - in the past, ASIFA
Central was the “catch-all” group for those not on the coasts.  Our chapter included folks
from Texas and even Canada before other chapters began to develop.
Chuck has not currently noticed confusion at an international scope, but have more often
confused ASIFA Central with the Colorado chapter.  A physical US Map to show our
membership as a loose border.
“If you’re an animator and you’re close to this region, we would welcome you.” (Steve)
Keep the reference a casual one, as ASIFA Central is a legal non-profit entity with a specific

(Note: this could be a survey question - hey, do you want to be on our member map?
 An Opt In function)

The website is taking shape nicely.  Chuck has preserved the existing material in the drop
box for ASIFA.  He has the scanned pdfs of the current issues - the website can be changed
with the url forwarding set up whenever it is ready to change.  Chuck is an internet magician!!!!

PONY! At the end of a college semester, make that a pony KEG!!!

Chuck/Julie - tech question - can wordpress material be copied and forwarded over to the
new site?  Julie was thankful for the backup that Chuck created - will have to make sure that
the original site coordinators can handle the transferral (network solutions is the host and
holding our domain) because once things are changed, the original material will likely be lost.   
Wordpress premium account is $8/month. Going live deadline will have to consider the
technological aspects, especially with the animator conference approaching (July/August?).

    1. Deanna, Bob, Chuck
  1. Bi-monthly Animators Open Mike
    1. Brad, Steve, Gretchen
    2. Working titles ideas: Animation Pitch, Central Animation Collective,  Central Animation
    3. Studio, “Animeet-up”
      It starts with animators coming together to explore and foster their talents generating
    4. creative energy and support. Often we have ideas, but not the support of a network of
    5. animators, artists, equipment or tools to make them happen. Imagine dedicated creators
    6. sitting down together to discuss their ideas for projects.
      1. A Saturday 12:00-3:00 -- June 3, Saturday - an “Anijam” (a group project along a
      2. determined parameter, bring the materials, a timer goes off, you try to hit the finish
      3. line and everyone presents!) - -
      4. CandyJam 1986
      5. Mo Willem did “Life” anijam

Deanna - a conceptual or technical challenge - something about communicating
animation across corners … tie in with the International Animation Day …
Brad - some ideas on the upcoming IAD poster design/layout - next week we
should see something soon - the rough is coming up….

      1. Who: ASIFA Members
      2. Goal: Support community animation building
        1. Secondary goals:  develop projects for short film circuit, pitch for films
        2. and television, build and foster skills.
      3. Resources: community media center, our collective skills, collective tools.
      4. Type of work: Collaborative projects, individual artist who just want community
    1. First meeting looks like what??
      1. Share Everyone brings work in progress or ideas to share.
      2. Goal  Perhaps to come up with a short film that everyone can collaborate on.
      3. Build  Whiteboard, storyboarding, think tank session.
      4. Plan who does what, next steps.
A collective idea, a pull-together of skill sets and the range of styles among the
  1. March IWD Event and Workshop - Chuck is conducting interviews
    1. Gretchen, Chuck, Julie
  2. Summer Retreat
    1. Gretchen, Bob, Steve, Jim
    2. Date: Saturday, August 11 -  have a board brunch member brunch or party the night
    3. before or the morning after? let’s make the event a single day  POLL HERE
    4. - get an assigned phone number - we can use Brad’s info …
    5. let’s use the same number and passcode
    6. Get info to the website ASAP as it becomes available to Julie!!!
    7. The group will have a conference call on the conference in May

New business:
Is there any way we can get prior International Animation Day poster images without the text on them
so we can add the ASIFA International logo and ASIFA Central logo ourselves and then use them for
advertising our local chapter? Like print up some postcards with the image on one side and information
about our chapter and a link to our ‘join ASIFA’ webpage on the other. Something that we can send
to university animation programs or hand out to people at our events that are open to the public. --
need to get clearance from the original artist -- could a variation on the theme work?

Can each of us write a paragraph about what we’re working on for ASIFA Central that we can include
in an e-mail to our membership? So, for example: Brad could do a “message from the President”
e-mail that would include a paragraph from Gretchen and I about our ‘Celebration of Women
Animators’ day including our workshop.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A "Gertie the Dinosaur" Mystery from 1914

The early masterpiece by Winsor McCay, "Gertie the Dinosaur" (1914), was a quarter century ahead of its time for character animation.  Recently, an auction catalog of animation cels and artifacts produced a pair of original rice-paper drawings from the film.  One of them caught my eye, since it was an unfamiliar pose, not seen in the prints known to circulate:

It would have been at the end of the film, past the point when she drank the lake dry.  Could the original stage release of "Gertie" have included a final curtain call for the frisky dinosaur?  An animation mystery!

The closing minute of the film is attached below for comparison - it'll be a bit compressed for this webpage, but the entire version is on line in several formats from several sources.

The auction catalog will probably not have a permanent web presence, but here's a link to it, as of April 2018:


POSTSCRIPT: The auction house doesn't mention how much the two Gertie drawings realized.  They were listed with $4500-$6000 range.  Either the amount was considered "anonymous" or was not to the minimum expected, so --- they may still be out there looking for a new home.  Will keep the eyebones peeled!  Who needs to retire, right?

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Testing the AGPtEK light box

It's hardly a box, and it's wonderful because (a) it's cheap, and (b) it's light, and (c) it doesn't heat up and make your hands sweat when you're using it.  And it has three levels of illumination - AND it runs off your powerstrip or through the USB port on your computer.  Here's a quick test of four images into an animated GIF:

And this is just another Photoshop test, using some onionskin sketches from the 1980s... so many boxes of stuff to digitize...
from the "Benny Bugg Workout" (1988)